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25.11.2005 Regional News

Assembly facing difficulties in revenue collection

By GNA
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Jirapa (UW), Nov. 25, GNA - The refusal of some people to pay their property rates, coupled with lack of revenue collectors in the Jirapa/Lambussie district, was impeding revenue mobilization of the Assembly.

While some landlords constantly chased away revenue collectors, others had been threatening the lives of the collectors, thereby scaring them off the communities, the District Chief Executive (DCE), Mr Justin Dakorah told the Assembly at its Third Ordinary Session on Thursday. He said key towns such as Sabuli, Gbare and Karni that had big outreach areas had no revenue collectors, thereby compounding the already precarious financial situation of the Assembly. Mr Dakorah said as a result, the Assembly had not been able to meet its revenue targets in the last two years, a situation he promised to improve in the next coming years.

He said in 2004, the Assembly collected only 384 million cedis of its 452 million cedis target, expressing fears that this year would not be better as it had so far mobilized only 410 million cedis of the 561 million cedis projection from January to October.

To whip up the enthusiasm of chiefs and other opinion leaders to help in the revenue mobilization efforts, the DCE suggested that monthly allowances of paramount chiefs be increased from 10,000 cedis to 50,000 cedis, while those of divisional chiefs and sub-chiefs also be raised from 8,000 cedis and 6,000 cedis to 30,000 cedis and 20,000 cedis respectively.

Mr George Hikah Benson, Deputy Upper West Regional Minister, said the acquisition of District Assemblies Common Fund was based on the level of internally generated funds and urged them to tap all revenue potentials in the district to become self-reliant. "If the Assembly effectively exploit the untapped revenue potential, the dependence on District Assemblies Common Fund will be reduced," he held.

Mr Benson advised Assembly members to effectively collaborate with their DCE so that together they could implement the development programmes slated for the District in the coming years. In a speech read for him, Mr. Charles Dzang, Presiding Member of the Assembly, said revenue mobilization, poverty reduction and effective education were the responsibility of everybody and challenged them to live up to these in order to bring development to the people.

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